video thumbnail

MIA@MIN: Correia tosses seven solid frames, fans five

The Twins will look to become the first team this season to defeat the Rangers on consecutive days when the clubs wrap up a four-game series on Sunday at Target Field.

Minnesota sends its most consistent starter to the mound in Kevin Correia in an attempt to break Texas' hot start to the season.

Correia has gone seven innings in each of his outings, recording a quality start in all of them. In his most recent trip to the mound vs. the Marlins, the righty gave up only two earned runs on five hits and a walk, with five strikeouts.

"It's nice to get off to a good start," said Correia after his last outing. "I'm sure I'm going to have some outings where I don't get through seven, so it's nice to get off to a good start and get those innings piled up. That's kind of the goal for me."

"The secret is, he's ahead in the count so many times and making [hitters] have to be defensive," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's able to spin the ball, changes it up on hitters. He doesn't get into too many patterns, [and] he can kind of loop a curve in there."

Correia will have his hands full against a potent Rangers lineup that has become a doubles-hitting machine. Texas has 11 doubles in the last three games, with second baseman Ian Kinsler accounting for four of them.

Taking the mound for Texas will be Alexi Ogando, who will try to keep the Rangers' streak intact.

Ogando is coming off two subpar outings that have seen the righty allow nine runs -- seven earned -- in only 9 1/3 innings.

In his last start against the Angels, the 29-year-old had some trouble early finding the strike zone, but found an effective changeup that allowed him to start commanding his fastball.

Rangers: Beltre slowly turning things around at the plate
• Adrian Beltre is beginning to show signs of turning it around at the plate after a slow start to begin his third season with the Rangers. Beltre has regained some offensive momentum in the last week, as the Texas third baseman has tallied seven hits in his last seven games (7-for-28, .250), two of which were home runs. He has also scored at least once in all but one of those games during that stretch.

"I've been hitting the ball hard, but this last week or so I haven't been getting a lot of luck," Beltre said. "That's what I want to do. I want to keep hitting the ball hard and it'll start falling. I don't want to change anything right now."

• Jeff Baker returned to the Rangers' lineup Saturday against the Twins, going 1-for-3 with a walk. Baker has not played in a full game since April 19, making two pinch-hitting appearances before he was injured making a highlight-reel diving catch in the second inning Tuesday in Anaheim.

• Lance Berkman and Elvis Andrus will likely be back in the lineup Sunday after sitting Saturday on scheduled days off. Manager Ron Washington also shied away from using closer Joe Nathan and setup man Tanner Scheppers after using them in back-to-back games, and both should be available if needed on Sunday.

Twins: Minnesota's stingy pitching staff
• The keys to the Twins' pitching success may come from their ability to not give up any walks. Minnesota has issued a league-low 47 free passes.

• Josh Willingham hit his fourth home run of the year Saturday against Rangers lefty Derek Holland. It was the second homer for Willingham against Holland.

• When center fielder Aaron Hicks threw out Nelson Cruz at second base Saturday, it marked the fourth straight game the Twins have recorded an outfield assist. It was also Hicks' third of the season.

Worth noting
• The Rangers have lost five of their last six day games, and have a 3-5 record on the season. Comments